Open hearts. Honest conversations.

Episode 10: How Validation Builds Self-Compassion for People with Eating Disorders

Our Director of Community & Provincial Programs including Jessie’s Legacy Eating Disorders Prevention and Awareness Program, Laurie Kohl, leads us through an insightful and informative conversation with Dr. Josie Geller, Clinical Psychologist and Director of Research in the Eating Disorders Program at St. Paul’s Hospital. Together they explore how validation builds self-compassion for people living with eating disorders, referring to Dr. Geller’s research focused on individuals with lived experience. Specifically, they look at levels of validation, the building blocks of self-compassion as well as the barriers to self-compassion. Their conversation is anchored in the ways parents, caregivers, and professionals can provide support, along with examples of how to do this.

Show Notes:

  • Introduction to Dr. Geller’s recent research studies, including the approach and key findings
  • Definition of validation, and what exactly validation means to people living with eating disorders
  • Relationship between validation and self-compassion
  • Introduction of self-compassion, and association with positive outcomes in recovery
  • Introduction of barriers to self-compassion, and how people have overcome them
  • Types of support, and how to provide support
  • Importance of enduring support throughout the recovery journey


  • To learn more about Jessie’s Legacy – the story behind the program and the range of resources available to you, click here to visit our website
  • Refer to Josie Geller and Avarna Fernandes’s article, Learning from Individuals with Lived Experience: The building blocks of self-compassion click here
  • In this episode we refer to the Eating Attitudes Screening Toolclick here to access the anonymous online screener.
  • We also refer to the Body Image Screening Toolclick here to use. This is also an anonymous online screener.
  • Research article on validation, The power of feeling seen: Perspectives on validation from individuals with eating disorders. Journal of Eating Disorders, 9, 149, click here
  • Research article:  Self-compassion and its barriers: Predicting outcomes from inpatient and residential eating disorders treatment. Journal of Eating Disorders, 10(1), 1–10, click here

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